Who: VN Publisher Joseph Connelly, VN Associate Publisher Colleen Holland, VN Managing Editor Aurelia d'Andrea, and VN Senior Editor Elizabeth Castoria
What: The 22nd Annual Genesis Awards
Where: The Beverly Hilton Hotel, Beverly Hills, Calif.
When: March 29, 2008
Why: Because we're fancy. Also, because VN is a longtime sponsor of the Genesis Awards.
The Scoop: The Genesis Awards are kind of a big deal. By that we mean they're basically the Oscars of the animal-rights movement. Presented by The Humane Society of the United States, they honor major media's efforts to raise awareness of animal issues—a category into which fall news teams who report on slaughterhouse horrors, comedy writers who joke about burgers not looking anything like cows, and documentarians who bring the reality of our environment to life. So, the room ends up packed with people who, in some way, are working to make life better for animals—and who just happen to be dressed to the nines.
The VN table was in no short supply of lovely people, as we were joined by good friends Rey Ortega, Jill Hahn, Denise Herrick Borchert, Walter Borchert, Billy Hulting, and Andrea Gullo (all captured glamorously above). The all-vegan dinner featured a light salad with grilled tofu, a main course of faux chicken, pasta, beets, carrots, and broccolini, and an indulgent dessert of chocolate mousse cake decorated with a flourish of raspberry and peach coulis.
After dinner, the awards ceremony began. After introductions from Bill Maher, HSUS President Wayne Pacelle, and Senior Director of the Hollywood office of the HSUS, Beverly Kaskey, awards were handed out by the likes of Kyle MacLachlan, Persia White, and Linda Cardellini. Winners included Rob Stewart's Sharkwater, 60 Minutes, CSI:Crime Scene Investigation, and Hayden Panetierre took home this year's Wyler Award—named for the Genesis Awards' founder, the late Gretchen Wyler. Since many of the nominations were for news series dealing with issues such as dog fighting, puppy mills, and slaughterhouses, it was certainly a plus to have so many stars to ogle and distract us while graphic footage was broadcast on giant movie screens. Speaking of cute stars, can anyone get enough of Rory Freedman? Judging by the looks of the guys below, we're guessing that'd be a "no."
Be sure to check out our full report from the after-party, coming soon on Press Pass!